91 AASL members achieve National Board Certification

Contact: Andrea Parker


For Immediate Release

December 9, 2002

91 AASL members achieve National Board Certification

Ninety-one members of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recently achieved National Board Certification, becoming the first to receive certificates in the area of library media.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) began offering the Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Library Media (ECYA/Library Media) certificate in 2001 after setting standards for what library media teachers should know and be able to do.

For teachers and school library media specialists, National Board Certification is the profession's top honor. Certification is achieved through a rigorous assessment that takes nearly a year to complete. The assessment is performance-based and designed to evaluate the complex knowledge and skills of teaching described in the NBPTS standards.

"The NBPTS certification process provides a means to recognize outstanding school library media specialists who are leaders in this profession and the field," said AASL President Nancy Zimmerman. "We would like to congratulate those who have achieved national certification. AASL is looking forward to providing support to future candidates and providing leadership and networking opportunities for those school library media specialists who have achieved certification."

The certification process that includes the development of a portfolio and a half-day of assessment center exercises. The portfolio consists of four entries each designed to demonstrate the library media specialist's abilities in areas such as instructional collaboration; appreciation for literature; integration of instructional technologies; and contributions to student learning. The half-day assessment center exercises examine the content knowledge specified in the NBPTS standards. Six written exercises are used to determine the school library media specialist's abilities in organizational management, ethical and legal tenets, technologies collection development, information literacy and knowledge of literature.

The 94 AASL members who are National Board Certified library media specialists represent 22 states. Three hundred forty-one other school library media specialists also earned certificates. For a list of AASL National Board Certified library media specialists go to

In the fall of 2002, AASL hosted a forum to provide its members with a broad awareness of the NBPTS certification and support process.

More than 90 affiliate members attended the two and a half day program and received valuable information from NBPTS representatives regarding standards and the assessment process. Attendees also received background on the development of support networks for candidates and had the opportunity to develop preliminary plans for the support and enhancement of leadership opportunities for school library media specialists who will become National Board Certified Teachers.

AASL is the first national professional organization to work directly with NBPTS in support of its members and those in the profession desiring to become board certified. Several AASL leaders were involved in the development of the National Board Standards.

www.ala.org/aasl, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school library media field.

Founded 15 years ago, NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-governmental organization dedicated to advancing the quality of teaching and learning. To learn more about NBPTS and National Board Certification visit